Getting used to different

I have a story.

A week and a half ago, I really wanted my dad to be able to join my family on our vacation, but he wasn’t up to driving the distance. I was out walking with God and feeling sad that he wasn’t up to coming, and all of a sudden the thought popped into my mind that I could fly to him and drive him. I knew I had airline miles because I had just a week before told God that I wasn’t sure what to do with them because that airline couldn’t be used for any of the trips that we have planned for the next year. It would also mean that much more time spent with my dad whom I do not get to see very often.

My relationship with God is at the point that when I am spending time with Him and something pops into my head, I can tell whether it’s a distraction or whether it’s Him. This was Him, so I called my dad and booked the flights.

The week was wonderful, and Saturday, I drove him back home, and he dropped me off at the airport an hour before my flight was originally scheduled to leave. The flight was delayed shortly before we left his house, so I arrived at the airport with 2 hours to wait. Not a big deal. I pulled out my tablet so I could write in my journal while I talked with God. (Because when you’ve got time to kill, there is no better way to do it!)

Not too long after I sat down at the gate, the flight was delayed another hour and the gate was changed. I moved to the new gate location and called my husband to update him.

I want to share that I was not the slightest bit upset or frustrated at the flight delays. I’m not saying that I was successfully fighting the urge to get frustrated and upset. I’m saying that feelings of frustration were completely non-existent. I think it’s because when you know you are on a path that God laid out for you, you know that every detail of that path is part of that plan, and it makes even flight delays an adventure with Him!

To continue my story…

As I sat there chit-chatting with God about various things, I thought about how the flight was now going to get in well after the time when I am usually falling asleep. My body does not handle being up late very well, and I remember mentioning to God that it would be quite nice if He could give me a seat toward the front of the plane so that I didn’t have to wait half an hour to get off the plane like you do when you are seated at the back. I thought about how I was likely to be feeling by that point, as I was already quite tired from 7 hours of driving. But I knew that He knew how tired I was just as well as I did, so I was quite content to leave that in His hands also.

A few minutes later, I noticed that the gate across the terminal was a flight heading to Cleveland. My flight was headed to Columbus, but our house is the same distance from both airports.

I have to interrupt my story again here to say that in my walk with God right now, I am learning that He leads me without my brain getting involved. When I am fellowshipping with Him, it’s a little bit like I go on autopilot, and He just starts leading, and I start following without thinking about whether it’s Him leading or not. He just leads and I follow in a way that is difficult to describe. So when I noticed the flight to Cleveland, I did not stop and ask Him what He wanted me to do. I remember what I did as I look back, but I don’t remember thinking at all about what I was doing. I certainly did not think through any of this before I did it.

I pulled out my phone and saw that the flight to Cleveland was scheduled to start boarding in less than 20 minutes and that it was one of the few flights that was on time. I walked over to the service desk and politely asked if it was possible to get my ticket transferred away from the one to Columbus that was currently delayed for 3 hours to that plane over there headed to Cleveland. The agent asked for my ID and verified that I had not checked any luggage. Then she went across the aisle to check with the agent for the other plane.

A few minutes later I had a boarding pass in my hand to fly to Cleveland instead of Columbus, and I prayed for all of the people waiting to go to Columbus as I left them behind.

About 15 minutes later, I was on the plane.

In the fourth row from the front of the plane.

And I realized what God had done.

I saw the next morning that the flight to Columbus didn’t actually leave until 1:00 in the morning, six hours after it’s original time. If I had stayed on that flight, I wouldn’t have gotten home until almost 4:00 in the morning. Instead I was sleeping in bed by 11:30.

I find myself thinking of the story of Philip and how God directed his path. This was second Saturday in a row that God took over and directed me like that. It’s like my shirt says, “Get used to different.”

This is what walking with God is like. I’m not saying that walking with God gets you out of difficult circumstances. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted that my head was swimming and I felt nauseous.

I’m saying that walking with God means that He is with you *through* the difficult circumstances. I’m a little surprised that He didn’t lead me to minister to anyone on that second plane, but maybe the whole experience was simply a demonstration for my sake and for anyone whom this little story ministers to.

Walking with Him turns everyday life into an adventure. I can’t wait to see what this week holds!

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